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Seeing the Big Picture

Each technologist must understand where he is in the enterprise, and how he and his workgroup serve the enterprise. Everyone needs to see the big picture:

  • Seeing the big picture is key to becoming consequence-minded. The greater the opportunity to see the big picture, the more likely people will be able to step into consequence-mindedness.

  • Big-picture thinking creates context and enables people to honor the values we seek to live (and work) by. Most people are not typically drawn to or motivated by values, but by outcomes.

  • The clearer you make the enterprise, the easier it is for people to understand and embrace the values that enable the enterprise, even if they wouldn't necessarily choose those values in their personal life.

  • The more connected and integral we feel in the enterprise, the less likely we are to subscribe to the "us and them" mentality. When we feel connected to the enterprise through understanding the big picture, we're less likely to disregard our values in dealing with others because we feel more akin to others with whom we share the enterprise.

  • When you understand the big picture and the time comes to make a judgement call, you're more likely to make one in favor of the enterprise. This enables decisions to be made with confidence on the battlefield, in the midst of the action.

  • Big-picture thinking is all about clarity as to where you're headed, so that everything you do is aligned with the enterprise. With the big picture clearly in mind, every decision you make and every action you take can be considered in light of how it supports or hinders the enterprise.

  • Well-managed IT teams do their work in the context of the big picture. Everyone understands how the IT team is linked to the success of the enterprise as a whole and thus the success of the organization. They don't work on projects with the project itself being the largest view they have of the enterprise. Rather, they view the projects within the scope of the larger enterprise and where the business as a whole is headed.

    This enables them to act as partners in the business rather than just worker bees, since seeing their place in the success of the enterprise enables them to make decisions and put forward innovative suggestions that go beyond simply meeting the technical requirements requested by their client groups. Big-picture understanding and a big-picture mindset dramatically increases their ability to add value.

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